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Participants in WJWC’s forum call for release of all journalists detained in militia prisons

In a forum entitled “Under Repression… the State of Press Freedoms in Yemen”, participants have stressed the need to release journalists being held captive in prisons of Saleh-Houthi militias.

In the event organized by Women Journalists Without Chains (WJWC) today in Taiz province, attendants denounced the death sentence recently issued by a militia-held court against the journalist Yahya al-Jubaihi.

Three working papers were presented during the activity in which WJWC’ annual report was released on violations against Yemeni journalists in 2016.

In his own work paper covering the last two years, the journalist, Abd al-Hakim Hilal, reviewed the cases the militias have abducted and the suffering of prisoners being held in deplorable conditions in a flagrant violation of human rights.

He added that detainees have been denied the most basic human rights, most notably visiting rights, pointing out that the militias are very hostile to journalists as “they expose the falsity of their slogans and reveal their crimes against the people in front of public opinion.”

For his part, lawyer Mokhtar Al-Wafi addressed the issue of protecting journalists and the guarantee of their rights and freedoms as provided for in national laws and international conventions, explaining that the militias have committed blatant violations of national laws, international covenants and treaties without regard for the most basic human rights, let alone the rights guaranteed by Islamic law.

On the other hand, the human rights activist, Fakhr Al-Azab, shed light on measures, which should be taken at various legislative levels, to tackle violations against journalists, such as enacting laws that guarantee rights and freedoms of journalists and punishing perpetrators, as well as organizing different activities that should be widely shared on different media outlets to expose such violations and those behind them.

During the forum, many views and ideas were also reviewed with regard to the reality of journalists during wars and the importance of moving away from the danger areas due to the systematic targeting of journalists by the militias of Houthi and ousted president Saleh.

A recent report by Women Journalists Without Chains revealed more than 208 cases of violations, including abduction and attempted murder, against journalists and media workers in Yemen during the year 2016.

Women Journalists Without Chains explained during the event that its team has documented 208 cases of violation, including 51 cases of threat cases, 35 abduction cases, 27 attempted murders, 15 2 physical tortures, 12 cases of electronic hacking, 10 cases of breaking into media institutions, 9 cases of detention, 9 cases of murder

Based on the report, four cases were arbitrarily suspended from work, four other cases were subjected to chasing and surrounding, three cases of incitement were recorded, four cases were prosecuted and two media facilities were burnt.

The report emphasized that monitoring and documenting were conducted in accordance with professional standards, stressing that cases of violation have been committed by the Houthi group, Saleh forces, al-Qaeda, popular resistance and the alliance.

The organization stresses that the aim of monitoring violations against journalists and media professionals is to uphold their rights and guarantee freedom of speech guaranteed by the constitution and the international agreements, and reiterates its call for the immediate release of all abducted journalists and for punishing those responsible for these abuses.

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